"Staying Connected" Increases Productivity

Sunday, 17 November 2013: 12:00 PM

Joan Engebretson, DrPH, AHN-BC, RN
School of Nursing, UTHSC-Houston, Houston, TX

Problem: As a faculty in a research intensive university setting for many years, one of the more vexing problems has been for faculty with a new doctoral degree, to adjust to teaching loads, dissemination of their doctoral research and continuing to develop and disseminate knowledge. As faculty in a doctoral program, we struggle with attempts to have students present and publish their dissertations; however many do not.

Methods: One of the concerns may be the emphasis on the student's independent work and lack of collaboration emphasis within doctoral course studies. While this is important, often there is missed opportunity to foster collaborative opportunities and develop a community of scholars. We have addressed this by incorporating group discourse and constructive critique throughout the research courses. This serves not only to sharpen their critiquing abilities, but also their comfort with intellectual discourse and feedback in the dissemination process.

Results: A secondary positive outcome from this is the connections that students make with each other and sometimes faculty to continue the discussions, which are made easier with electronic communication. This group of students has continued to publish and present long after graduation. These connections have endured and yielded academic output for several years despite representing very different institutions.

Conclusions: There are many recommendations for inter-disciplinary collaboration as well as the need to collaborate within disciplines. Fostering collaboration in graduate school and encouraging these connections post-graduation benefits the individual faculty, academic institutions, the profession, and practice of nursing.